UNE Barbarians wrap up minor premiership

UNE Barbarians wrapped up an historic New England minor premiership with a 25-14 win over Armidale on Saturday.
Nanjing Night Net

With only two rounds remaining, the Baa Baas can’t be caught.

It’s the first time they have finished on top of the table and it came with another first.

“We’d never beaten Armidale in first grade at Moran before,” Baa Baas coach Dan Dooner said.

He said they were pretty happy about the result and what it means, but his thoughts were mixed about their


“The second half was a bit disappointing. We led 22-nil at half-time,” he said.

“The first half we played

very well and were very


Discipline hasn’t been the strongest area of their game this season and their illdiscipline has got them into trouble on several occasions.

But the shoe was on the other foot on Saturday, with the Blues having two players binned and being reduced to 13 for a period of the first half.

Dooner said they probably didn’t capitalise on their advantage as much as they should have, although they didn’t really put themselves in a position to score.

But he was pretty happy heading into the break.

“What I wanted to see in the second half was us play a grand final type of football,” Dooner said.

“But we switched off and fell off a couple of one-on-one tackles.”

They could only manage a penalty, although they did have a couple of other opportunities to kick points that they opted not to take.

“We let it get away,” Dooner said.

“They had no ball in the first half. We virtually didn’t give them any.

“We just controlled the ball, didn’t do anything silly, didn’t push those passes and played with a fair bit of structure.

“We didn’t do that in the second half.”

He said the forwards were very strong around the park, particularly Mick Byrne, Rob Ivey and Jared Snook in the backrow.

“They were very strong,” Dooner said.

“Bids (Damien Biddle) and Josh (Coulthurst) were very strong both in attack and defence, and Keith (Ellis) played well at fullback.”

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